The Propertarian Institute, an “Anglo Conservative” think tank, paid to reserve Kimmel Center for University Life room 912 for six hours on Sept. 26 under a false customer name, according to an investigation by WSN.
The room was reserved for a PI roundtable discussion with outed white supremacists. According to a PI Facebook post, attendees paid between $45 and $65 per ticket and had the option of paying an extra $50 to attend a group dinner at an unspecified location.
Flyers for Identity Evropa, a white nationalist hate group, were put up in Kimmel by individuals who attended this event, according to an investigation by the NYU Department of Public Safety. The investigation also found that these individuals are unassociated with NYU. According to Curt Doolittle, founder of the PI, none of the approximately 40 event attendees were NYU faculty or students.
Kimmel Operations changed NYU building room reservation policies in response to the PI’s event, according to CAS senior and Student Body President Juan Calero. Prior to Oct. 3, any third party group could reserve rooms in NYU buildings. As of Oct. 3, parties must be affiliated with an organization or department at NYU in order to reserve a room.
What was The Propertarian Institute’s event?
The PI event, titled “Western Civilization: Circumventing the Frankfurt and Postmodern Schools,” was a roundtable with Ricardo Duchesne, Tom Sunic, Kevin MacDonald and Doolittle.
Duchesne, Sunic and MacDonald all write for white supremacist publications. Duchesne writes for The Council of European Canadians, whose goal is to preserve Canada’s white “ethnic composition and cultural character.” Sunic writes for The Occidental Observer, which MacDonald edits. The online publication’s goal is to promote “white identity, interests and culture.”
Doolittle said in an email that the goal of the roundtable was for the panelists to promote the PI, whose philosophy claims to use Anglo Conservatism to “separate the west from the rest.”
“We had hoped to draw attention to the Institute by engaging in a controversial roundtable on a controversial topic,” Doolittle said.
According to the PI’s YouTube video of the event, the controversial topic was the “Frankfurt School” — the basis of left-wing political philosophy. The panelists discuss how they believed the Frankfurt School is ushering the downfall of civilization.
During the panel, Sunic said that a person’s gene pool should be considered when defining democracy and human rights.
“Some of my opponents, some of my rejectors call me a Nazi, a neo-Nazi, anti-Semite, fascist, whatever,” he said in the video. “So eventually, I might take a certain badge of honor of it, you know? Being called by those names, those smearing names.”
Sunic’s book, “Titans Are In Town,” is a series of essays about how “endless interracial chaos” make Europe a “dystopian landscape.” Amazon sells the book for $19.50. Sunic declined to answer how many copies he sold at the event.
“I also spent some time talking about words such as ‘democracy,’ ‘tolerance,’ ‘human rights,’ ‘multi-ethnic consensus’ and their different and often opposing meanings in different political regimes,” Sunic said in an email. “I had my book on display and did sell a few copies.”
Advertisements for the PI event stated that AltRight.com co-founder and NYU alumnus Jason Jorjani would be a panelist, but they did not advertise MacDonald or Doolittle as panelists. On Sept. 19, an undercover video published by The New York Times depicted Jorjani envisioning a future with Hitler on the currency and an ethnic holocaust in the United States.
Jorjani said via email that he did not attend the PI event, but it is unclear when exactly he stepped down as a panelist.
“When I first agreed to attend the event, it was billed as a forum for a discussion about the future of Western civilization,” Jorjani said. “Shortly after my resignation from the Alt-Right Corporation and Arktos Media in mid-August, I conveyed to [the event organizer] that I would not be able to attend the event.”
However, advertisements depicted Jorjani as a panelist as soon as one day before the event. At the time Jorjani resigned from AltRight.com and Arktos media, two primary media outlets of the “alt-right,” he remained a financial stakeholder in both organizations. On Sept. 21, five days before the PI event, a post on AltRight.com announced that Jorjani no longer owned shares in the organization.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Arktos media has a partnership with Identity Evropa, whose flyers were found in Kimmel on Sept. 27.
“I was told at the last minute [Jorjani] wasn’t coming, and that it was because he lost his job,” Doolittle said in an email. “But I don’t know if that’s true.”
Jojani was suspended from his teaching position at New Jersey Institute of Technology on Sept. 25, the day before the PI event.
According to a PI Facebook post, tickets for the event ranged from $45 to $65 in price and were available on EventBrite with an access code. Shanaynay Tomson or Megan Usui, whom Doolittle identified as the event organizers, would then provide this access code via Facebook messenger.
Doolittle said that the entrance fees were used to offset the expenses of the event, such as reserving Kimmel room 912. He declined to specify the rates of individual expenses.
“[The PI] netted a loss on the event in the realm of $4000,” Doolittle said. “So there is no money remaining to use for any purpose.”
The event location was not given on the PI Facebook page, but both Doolittle and NYU spokesman John Beckman confirmed via email that the PI event took place in Kimmel 912. The room has blackout shades and a maximum capacity of 50 people.
Kimmel OneStop, the reservation service for rooms in Kimmel and other NYU buildings, shows that the PI reservation was made under the moniker “Seattle Commercial Fitness.” WSN was unable to prove that Seattle Commercial Fitness exists.
Kimmel Operations did not respond for comment.
What’s the connection to the Identity Evropa flyers?
On Sept. 28, two days after the PI event, white nationalist hate group Identity Evropa tweeted images depicting its flyers outside the Market Place at Kimmel and inside a Kimmel conference room. Identity Evropa describes itself as “a fraternal organization for people of European heritage.”
New York University
— IDENTITY EVROPA (@IdentityEvropa) September 28, 2017
The hashtag in the tweet, #ProjectSiege, refers to Identity Evropa’s college student recruitment campaign of the same name. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, flyers related to Project Siege have been distributed on over 40 college campuses.
Calero said that a freshman student found two Identity Evropa flyers on the afternoon of Sept. 27, the day after the PI event. The flyers were lodged in the rental lockers adjacent to the Market Place at Kimmel. After photographing the flyers, the student contacted Calero, who removed the flyers and gave them to Leah Lattimore, director of the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs.
The freshman student declined to comment for this article and requested to remain anonymous.
Calero said that he rushed to email as many NYU administrators as possible about the flyers.
“It was a lot in the moment,” Calero said. “I was just [emailing] this person, and this person, and this person.”
According to Calero, Public Safety investigated security camera footage on Sept. 27 to determine who put up the flyers. On Oct. 3, investigation concluded that three individuals, who were in Kimmel to attend the PI event, distributed the Identity Evropa flyers. According to NYU spokesperson John Beckman, the individuals who distributed the flyers are unassociated with NYU.
These Identity Evropa flyers inspired 15 student groups, including NYU Against Fascists and NYU Sanctuary, to organize an anti- Nazi demonstration on Sept. 28 in Washington Square Park. Over 100 students attended the rally, where a person in blackface heckled two speakers, both women of color. One of these speakers, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that while people targeted by the Identity Evropa flyers needed to be heard, these people were extremely vulnerable to violence and harassment.
“When these rally responses happen, it is not in a leftist vacuum,” the speaker said. “[External] violence is reproduced in these spaces. Our safety is not guaranteed. We are really putting ourselves on the front line.”
Although the individuals who distributed the Identity Evropa flyers also attended the PI event, Doolittle said that the PI has no institutional or financial affiliation with Identity Evropa.
Project Siege is a collaboration between Identity Evropa and Arktos media, according to an Identity Evropa announcement on Twitter. Jorjani was still a shareholder of Arktos media as of Aug. 15, and unlike AltRight.com, Arktos media never announced whether Jorjani’s shares in its organization had been sold. However, Jorjani denied any current personal, professional, or financial association with Arktos media, the PI or Identity Evropa.
“I think that it was reprehensibly irresponsible for Identity Evropa to have put flyers on the NYU campus,” Jorjani said.
How did NYU respond?
In a statement to WSN, Beckman condemned Identity Evropa and acknowledged that room reservation policies changed in response to the PI event in Kimmel.
“The university’s position on white supremacist, Nazi and similar philosophies and activities is that they are vile, worthy of our condemnation and at odds with our campus’ values,” Beckman said.
On Oct. 5, the NYU Student Government released a statement condemning the PI, white supremacy, anti-Semitism and European Imperialism.
According to Calero, this statement was an alternative to a statement from President Andrew Hamilton.
The Senate Executive Committee, headed by President Hamilton, drafted a version of the Student Government’s statement. However, the Student Government voted to release a version of the SEC statement on its own behalf.
One of the speakers heckled at the anti-Nazi rally believes that the response to Identity Evropa flyers highlights inadequacies in how campus activists respond to white supremacy.
“My big concern is that the [rally] was co-opted by white leftists to promote their organizations rather than speak out against the ‘alt-right’ and white supremacists,” the speaker said. “We need to elevate the voices of people directly under attack. We all have a voice, but some of us are silenced.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 23 print edition. Email Caroline Haskins at [email protected]